After being unusually quiet for the past two years, former President George W. Bush is finally back in the spotlight.
With his recently published memoir, “Decision Points,” hitting the bookshelves in November, our 43rd president is doing a series of interviews and media visits to discuss the book.
In my opinion, Bush is the humblest man in America right now.
In his highly publicized interview with Matt Lauer, the former president did not hold back admitting his mistakes and said, “I could have done things better.”
He has admitted that his handling of Katrina in 2005 was poor. He regrets that he withdrew troops from Iraq in such a hurry. He admits that he was “blindsided” by the financial disaster at the end of his term, but at the same time defends the decisions that he and Congress made.
The thing that is most appealing to me in the Lauer interviews is that Bush makes it clear that he has nothing against President Obama and is not trying to target him with the power he has as a former president.
“I am trying to regain a sense of anonymity,” Bush said. “I don’t think its good for the presidency for a former president to be opining about his successor. President Obama has got plenty of critics, and I’m just not going to be one.”
The current president, on numerous occasions, has referenced the “prior administration” as responsible for the issues that he is dealing with as commander in chief.
While Bush certainly has the ability to fire back and try to defend his legacy, he doesn’t want to.
This shows the former president’s true character.
A large majority of Amercans feel there were aspects of his presidency that could have been stronger but, so does he.
The true test of a man is not to blame others, but himself for failures.
With the publication of his memoir, historians will begin to look back on the 43rd president of the United States. They will see more than just the Katrina blunders or the Wall Street bailouts, much more.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the U.S. was not victim to another vicious attack on American soil for the remaining seven years of Bush’s presidency. This was no coincidence.
Bush effectively transformed the security and defense of this country to prepare for an entirely new enemy—one that has a quest to destroy America.
He was also a firm believer in supporting Israel as a free state in the Middle East. Bush recognized that Israel’s success was crucial to stability in the Middle East and did not hesitate to ostracize Yasser Arafat and his actions in Palestine.
Bush was also a strong supporter of India. In its ongoing dispute with Pakistan, India came under frequent pressure from the nation and its repeated threats. As the largest democracy in the world, India is a crucial ally and model for the rest of the globe.
Finally, the amount of effort that Bush put towards helping the continent of Africa was incredible.
While his predecessor is known for the military blunder in Somalia and the massacre of the Tutsis in Rwanda, Bush is known for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
Thousands of HIV positive Africans have been helped thanks to the distribution of life saving drugs and antibiotics to combat the virus.
When history looks back on the 43rd president, while marred by the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the economy, they should also see a man who led the country through the worst terrorist attack on American soil. They should also see a man who saved countless lives in the AIDS epidemic, as well as strengthened our country’s relationship with countries like India and Israel.